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HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.

Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right.

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NAME: Michael J. McCarthy

CANDIDATE FOR: Cabell County Magistrate Division 6

PARTY: Non-partisan race

HOME CITY: Huntington


AGE: 65

EDUCATION: High School- St. Joseph’s; College- Marshall University- BS Criminal Justice.


OTHER WORK HISTORY: West Virginia State Police- 27 years; West Virginia Parole Board- 11 years.

ENDORSEMENTS: FOP Gold Star Lodge 65, FOP Lodge 122.

FAMILY: wife, Janet McCarthy; children, Sunny and Justin; grandchild, Kylie.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: My personal statement to the people of West Virginia, especially Cabell County, is one of not only fairness and transparency but safety for its people. The many years of law enforcement along with my time on the WV Parole Board, coupled with being a Magistrate, my main concern has been public safety. This concern has always been at the forefront in my decision making process. If reelected, I will continue this philosophy together with respect for all individual’s rights along with law-based common sense decisions.

1. What steps might improve the workings of the courts?

To improve workings of the court, we should have better equipment for technology, such as a system where people may electronically file court paperwork. It would bring the courts up to speed like other states and allow the public better access to the courts.

2. Do you believe you have the temperament to be on the bench?

My experience of 27 years as a WV State Trooper and 11 years on the WV Parole Board, I have dealt with people from all walks of life. Respect for all has been foremost in all my decisions I’ve made regarding any dealings with the public.

3. How do you feel about accepting contributions to your campaign? Do you feel this creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety if you are elected?

I take this extremely serious about my campaign. I have a treasurer who handles the monetary aspect of my committee. I believe the Judicial Canon of Ethics correctly governs Judicial Campaign finance.

4. Would you favor or oppose a system in which all sentencing decisions were routinely reported in the local paper, indexed by the name of the judge?

I would completely support publishing my rulings. All or our cases (barring some confidential hearings) are public record and are readily available to anyone. I believe court transparency is one of the most important things in our system.

5. What do you believe to be the root causes for the high numbers of juvenile offenders? What changes can the court system make to reduce these numbers?

Unfortunately, the youth of our region have been a direct victim of the opioid epidemic. This has caused the breakup of many families which in turn can lead the child into bad decisions. We must offer better support in child advocacy agencies.

6. What kinds of experience do you have with law enforcement of the law profession?

I have 40+ years in the criminal justice system. My experience includes a 4 year degree from Marshall University, majoring in Criminal Justice, 27 years with the West Virginia State Police retiring as a Captain, and 11 years on the West Virginia Parole Board. I am presently a sitting Magistrate, appointed by the Circuit Court in August 2018 and elected in November 2018.

7. How would you weigh addressing the growing population with public safety?

I understand the balance of jail costs and public safety exists in this region. Public safety is the most important factor that we must consider over the jail bill. Alternative sentences should be available to the right defendants, others should stay incarcerated.

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